LUM Camp – Living Proof of the Impact


Meet Marlena – Camper, Counselor & Director

Dear Friends:

Marlena Edmondson is living proof that LUM Camp is changing the trajectory of young lives. 

Marlena’s first experience with LUM Camp was as an 8-year-old girl. Camp was an entirely new experience for her. She had never ridden a horse, never sang silly songs before a meal, never spent time away from home in the nurturing care of fun-loving counselors. Marlena loved it all. LUM Camp was a transformative experience. 

The next two summers, Marlena eagerly came back to LUM Camp as a camper. Then, as a teenager, she became a junior counselor. As a young adult, Marlena saved up her vacation time throughout the year so she could spend a week serving as a LUM Camp counselor. Today Marlena serves as the LUM Camp director, creatively crafting each LUM Camp to be a life-giving, life-changing experience for every one of the 80 campers. 

Even more, Marlena credits LUM Camp as the catalyst that put her on a pathway toward helping children as a career. Marlena earned a Masters of Social Work degree and works in the Tippecanoe Schools Corporation as a school social worker. LUM Camp helped broaden the horizon of Marlena’s life, purpose, and impact.

(Check out the three-minute video of Marlena telling you her LUM Camp journey in her own words — below.)

Marlena knows what LUM has known since the 1960’s, when it started hosting a camp for children every summer: a week of camp has remarkable benefits in terms of intellectual curiosity, social skills, gross and fine motor skills, positive values, spirituality, and overall positive identity. Because of these scientifically verified benefits of camp, every summer LUM continues to put on a top-notch, weeklong overnight camp for boys and girls, ages 8, 9, and 10. 

This summer LUM Camp will take place July 26-29. The children come from families served throughout the year by Lafayette Urban Ministry. Hosted at the lovely Hanging Rock Christian Camp in Warren County, IN, LUM Camp involves swimming, horseback riding, arts and crafts, boating, morning chapel, wall climbing, zip-lining, snacks, delicious meals, and diverse and caring counselors.

A key component of the year-round LUM Youth Programs (which also include the After School Program and the 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program), LUM Camp is one of the premier summer camp programs available to children anywhere. 

LUM Camp is a scholarship-based camp, meaning we only invite children whose parents are not able to pay for the actual cost of camp. The actual cost is more than $200 per camper. We ask the campers’ parents to pay $5 per child and ask our generous donors to cover the rest.    

  • $200 = sponsor one LUM camper
  • $400 = sponsor two LUM campers
  • $100 = ½ LUM Camp sponsorship 
  • Any amount will support LUM Youth Programs

With so many children eagerly awaiting their chance to attend, would you like to give the gift of LUM Camp – investing in both their short-term fun and long-term life skills?  Who knows? There might be another little Marlena Edmondson attending LUM Camp this year.…

With gratitude,
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Wes Tillett
Executive Director

P.S.  Please support the LUM Youth Programs and invest in future generations. To contribute online, click the link below.


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Marlena’s Journey – In Her Own Words


Marlena Edmondson is the director of LUM Camp 2021. She earned a BSW in Political Science & Social Work from the University of Indianapolis, and an MSW with a concentration in Child Welfare from Indiana University.

Marlena was a LUM Camper as a child for three years and LUM Camp volunteer camp counselor for 14 years, before become the LUM Camp director in 2018. During the rest of the year, she is the Student Services Coordinator at Mayflower Mill Elementary School with the Tippecanoe School Corporation. Marlena grew up in Lafayette, graduated from Harrison High School, and currently lives on the north side of Lafayette with her two cats, Dudley & Zelly.

LUM is lucky to have someone with Marlena’s passion, talent and experience be a part of the LUM Camp program for the past 22 years.

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